Accounting News Roundup: PwC Appoints Head of Reputation in UK; Dems Ready to Raise Taxes on Wealthy; SEC Releases Study on SOX for Small Filers | 04.25.11

Royal Wedding to Give London $177 Million Boost, PwC Says [Bloomberg]
PwC forecast that 560,000 people will travel to London from other parts of the U.K. and that 550,000 people will head for the Westminster area where the wedding is held, while nearly 1 million people will watch it on big screens.

PricewaterhouseCoopers creates new role to boost its public image [Telegraph]
[PwC], the accountancy giant, is to appoint its first-ever head of reputation in de House of Lords inquiry into the lack of competition among auditors. Richard Sexton, head of the accountant’s assurance division which includes its audit arm, will take the role. He will manage a small team focused on how the firm is perceived and its interaction with politicians and regulators.

So You Want to Use Your iPhone for Work? Uh-oh. [WSJ]
For lots of workers, the company BlackBerry just doesn’t cut it anymore. As people pack increasingly sophisticated smartphones in their personal life, they’re clamoring to use those gadgets in the workplace as well. And many of their bosses are loosening up. They’re ditching the traditional BlackBerry-or-nothing policy and allowing a wider range of mobile devices, including tablets such as the iPad.

With public’s backing, Dems to push tax hikes for the wealthy [The Hill]
Congressional Democrats say they will aggressively push for allowing taxes to rise for the wealthiest Americans – a move they say is not only widely popular, but sets up a stark contrast with Republicans who want to keep the tax rates the same but make broad changes to entitlement programs.

Slippery People: Corporate Governance at Berkshire Hathaway [Re:The Auditors]
The Buffet/Sokol/Lubrizol timeline plus Francine announces that she is going to Omaha for the annual meeting on Saturday.

SEC Releases Special Study On Sarbox 404(b) For Smaller Public Co’s [AW]
[T]he SEC released a special study on implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 (b) – the auditor’s report on internal control over financial reporting – with respect to smaller public companies (specifically, accelerated filers with market cap between $75 million and $250 million). The SEC study, required by Section 989G(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, examined existing studies and included a call for public comment.


FASB Issues Goodwill Impairment Proposal [JofA]
FASB issued an exposure draft of a proposed Accounting Standards Update intended to simplify how businesses are required to test goodwill for impairment. “Nonpublic companies have expressed concerns to the Board about the cost and complexity of performing the goodwill impairment test,” FASB member Daryl Buck said in a press release. “The proposals contained in this Update are intended to address those concerns and to simplify and improve the process for public and nonpublic entities alike.”

Six Flags says arbitrator rules in favor of former CFO [Reuters]
Theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX.N) said an arbitrator ruled in favor of certain claims made by its former Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Speed. The arbitrator has directed the company to pay $23.7 million, plus interest and attorney’s fees, the company said. Six Flags replaced Speed as the CFO in September last year, and later terminated his employment, without cause, in October, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Royal Wedding to Give London $177 Million Boost, PwC Says [Bloomberg]
PwC forecast that 560,000 people will travel to London from other parts of the U.K. and that 550,000 people will head for the Westminster area where the wedding is held, while nearly 1 million people will watch it on big screens.

PricewaterhouseCoopers creates new role to boost its public image [Telegraph]
[PwC], the accountancy giant, is to appoint its first-ever head of reputation in direct response to the House of Lords inquiry into the lack of competition among auditors. Richard Sexton, head of the accountant’s assurance division which includes its audit arm, will take the role. He will manage a small team focused on how the firm is perceived and its interaction with politicians and regulators.

So You Want to Use Your iPhone for Work? Uh-oh. [WSJ]
For lots of workers, the company BlackBerry just doesn’t cut it anymore. As people pack increasingly sophisticated smartphones in their personal life, they’re clamoring to use those gadgets in the workplace as well. And many of their bosses are loosening up. They’re ditching the traditional BlackBerry-or-nothing policy and allowing a wider range of mobile devices, including tablets such as the iPad.

With public’s backing, Dems to push tax hikes for the wealthy [The Hill]
Congressional Democrats say they will aggressively push for allowing taxes to rise for the wealthiest Americans – a move they say is not only widely popular, but sets up a stark contrast with Republicans who want to keep the tax rates the same but make broad changes to entitlement programs.

Slippery People: Corporate Governance at Berkshire Hathaway [Re:The Auditors]
The Buffet/Sokol/Lubrizol timeline plus Francine announces that she is going to Omaha for the annual meeting on Saturday.

SEC Releases Special Study On Sarbox 404(b) For Smaller Public Co’s [AW]
[T]he SEC released a special study on implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 (b) – the auditor’s report on internal control over financial reporting – with respect to smaller public companies (specifically, accelerated filers with market cap between $75 million and $250 million). The SEC study, required by Section 989G(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, examined existing studies and included a call for public comment.


FASB Issues Goodwill Impairment Proposal [JofA]
FASB issued an exposure draft of a proposed Accounting Standards Update intended to simplify how businesses are required to test goodwill for impairment. “Nonpublic companies have expressed concerns to the Board about the cost and complexity of performing the goodwill impairment test,” FASB member Daryl Buck said in a press release. “The proposals contained in this Update are intended to address those concerns and to simplify and improve the process for public and nonpublic entities alike.”

Six Flags says arbitrator rules in favor of former CFO [Reuters]
Theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX.N) said an arbitrator ruled in favor of certain claims made by its former Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Speed. The arbitrator has directed the company to pay $23.7 million, plus interest and attorney’s fees, the company said. Six Flags replaced Speed as the CFO in September last year, and later terminated his employment, without cause, in October, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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